Florida State Living Wills

By: David Fagan
Out of all the documents available to make an estate plan a living will is perhaps the most important. This is probably the only life and death document you will ever sign, unless you’re a judge. Despite how important this document is many people still don't understand how it actually works. Although this is understandable since it is not one of the most exciting or pleasant of topics. However, if you fail to face this issue, then you lose the ability to make decisions on how your estate will be divided.A living will is a advance medical directive that expresses your wishes to the type of treatment that should be provided, withdrawn or withheld. These wishes can include life-prolonging procedures. The state of Florida allows you to decide whether life-prolonging procedures should be withdrawn or withheld in the event of a terminal condition, a persistent vegetative state or an end-stage condition. An end state condition is an irreversible condition that results in progressively severe and permanent deterioration which treatment cannot be effective.

A terminal condition is when there is no chance of recovery and without treatment can be expected to cause death. A persistent vegetative states means there is a permanent, irreversible condition of unconsciousness. In Florida, only in the event of one of these conditions will a living will go into effect.Doctors determine the patient’s condition with a legal medical decision. I say legal because there are legal requirements for this procedure before a living will can be exercised. To legally determine the patients condition a patient must be determined to be in that condition by the attending/treating physician and at least one other physician who separately examined the patient. Their determination and findings must be documented, in the patient's medical record, and signed by both physicians before life-prolonging procedures can be withdrawn or withheld.If you disagree with the physician's decision to withdraw or withhold life-prolonging treatment then there is a procedure you can follow to dispute it. While the decision is being disputed the doctor must continue to provide medical treatment to the patient. Within seven days you must seek a judicial review of the disputed decision, or the attending physician may remove or withhold life-prolonging treatments in accordance with the living will.In conclusion, it is your right to allow or refuse medical treatment, even life-prolonging procedures. Having a living will ensures that your wishes on the type of medical treatment you desire is honored. Your treatment should not be based on the statutes and the opinions of others. Also, failing to express your wishes in a living will could result in your beloved ones being forced to make painful decisions for you without understanding your wishes. If these issues matter to youPsychology Articles, then you should create a living will that represents your wishes and desires as soon as possible.

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